This Week in Self-Publishing: My Book Is a Library Journal Self-e Selection!

This Week (technically the past two weeks)

Books sold: 4 ebooks, 6 paperbacks

Money earned: $126.26

Money spent: $35, to submit my book to She Writes Press

Total

Books sold: 346 ebooks, 144 paperbacks

Money earned (book sales): $1,399.01

Money earned (Patreon): $6,909

Money spent: $4,855.71


It’s been two weeks since my last update; first it was Thanksgiving, and then I was moving to Cedar Rapids.

But here we are, with the newest numbers!

More importantly, here’s the latest update about the future of The Biographies of Ordinary People:

Two weeks ago, I submitted Biographies to be considered for She Writes Press. SWP is a hybrid publisher, which means that if they select my book for publication (and if I, in turn, accept their offer) I’ll front some money and they’ll take care of the production, distribution, management, and—if I choose to sign on with the BookSparks publicity team—marketing.

This is not going to be cheap. But SWP comes with a lot of benefits, including bookstore distribution and industry reviews that aren’t necessarily accessible to self-pubbers. Plus there’s the marketing/publicity option with BookSparks, and you already know I’m interested in working with a publicity team.

I haven’t decided for sure that I’ll say yes to them if they say yes to me, but I’m interested in learning whether this would be a good option for Biographies, so I paid the $35 submission fee and sent SWP some sample chapters for consideration.

Then last week, I learned that Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing has set up a special track for Pronoun writers who want to convert their books to KDP titles. I’d be able to keep my sales rankings and my reviews, which… I hadn’t realized I would lose them, thanks.

This option is free, and I don’t even have to enroll in KDP Select (i.e. sell exclusively with Amazon). However, Amazon has already told me about all the benefits Biographies could receive if I went the Select route: my book would be available on Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners Lending Library, for starters, and I’d get my cut of that particular pile of money. (Did you know that KDP Select paid its authors $19.7 million in October? Amazon really wants me to know this.)

I’m not super-thrilled about being Amazon-exclusive, and I don’t really think adding Kindle Unlimited as a distribution channel would help Biographies reach more readers. Publicity is what’s going to help Biographies reach more readers, right? (Yes, some of them might prefer to read my book on KU, but that’s putting the cart after the horse.)

So I have to figure out what I’m going to do here. It looks like I have three major options:

  1. Publish with SWP (if they accept me). This would probably mean a relaunch of Vol. 1 next year; it would probably also mean that Vol. 2 wouldn’t release until well after May 2018. This is the most expensive option, but it could bring in a lot of new readers.
  2. Publish with Amazon KDP (either exclusive or non-exclusive) and hire a publicist. This is slightly less expensive than the SWP option.
  3. Publish with Amazon KDP (either exclusive or non-exclusive) and continue to do my own publicity/marketing. This is the least expensive option, but it might limit my reach.

I was about to write “it might limit my reach and my profits,” but I haven’t really done the math on that. (There is a lot of math I need to do, and soon.)

There’s one more piece of news from the past two weeks: The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1 was named a Library Journal Self-e Selection.

This is the first major honor Biographies has received, and it comes with a bonus for you: Library Journal gives its Self-e Select titles nationwide distribution, which means that if your library participates in the Self-e program, you can borrow the Biographies ebook. Let me know if my book is in your library’s catalog!

That’s all the news I have for this week; time to sit in my partially unpacked apartment and watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. ❤️

 

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